The Indian Army has issued a tender for 47,627 bulletproof jackets (BPJs) for its frontline troops which should be able to protect them from the lethal steel core bullets.

The Ministry of Defence issued the tender for the jackets under Make in India and the procurement would be done in phases over a 12 to 24-month period after all the modalities have been finalised and user trials concluded, defence sources told India Today.

The specifications listed by the Army state that the BPJs should be able to protect a soldier against 7.62 mm armour piercing rifle ammunition as well as steel core bullets fired from a distance of 10 metres. The BPJs required for protection against armour piercing ammunition, whose velocity is higher than that of other bullets, should weigh less than 10 kg, while the weight of those meant for use against steel core rounds should not exceed 11.8 kg in the case of large-sized jackets.

A shortage of bulletproof jackets has been dodging the army for many years and in the past, the procurement process, as well as trials, have generated controversy pertaining to the source as well as the quality. The Indian Army is expected to issue another tender for full-body protection bulletproof jackets which would be produced by one of the selected Indian defence industry partners.